Thursday, 17 September 2015

Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Things have been a little quiet around these parts, more so than usual, because to be honest I've been spending quite a bit of time reading and just enjoying time away from the laptop. But, all this time out has left me with a few reviews to write and I thought I'd start with my most recently enjoyed book. A while ago I made a resolve to reach for more Young Adult fiction and the next time I wandered through my library I picked up Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. Kinsella being a predominantly adult and chick-lit writer, had me intrigued to read a book of hers aimed at a younger audience.

Finding Audrey centres around the life of Audrey and her eccentric family. A recent incident at Audrey's high school has left her with severe social anxiety, an inability to leave the house and a penchant for wearing sunglasses during the daytime. Throw in a mother who spends too much time turning to the Daily Mail for answers on how to raise her family, a brother obsessed with video games and a father who doesn't quite know what is going on and you've got yourself a scenario for a whole bunch of crazy family dynamics. Audrey has been making steady but slow progress with her shrink Dr Sarah but it's an introduction to her brothers friend Linus that sparks something alive in Audrey.

This book was filled with lovable and relateable characters despite their charms and quirks. Kinsella's characters slowly revealed themselves to be quite a caring and close-knit bunch in the end and I really enjoyed that she allowed those deeper characteristics to be revealed. Although the book addresses mental health issues it's light tone and Kinsella's charming writing style make it a very easily digested read without treating Audrey's illness as something trivial or easily fixed. I did wonder if the Linus-Audrey first-love story would turn out to be a 'love cures all' scenario but it was their friendship which gave Audrey something to focus on while her family were all trying to deal with her illness in their own way.

I thought the character development in this book was pretty spot on actually. As not only were the family trying to deal with Audrey's illness but I enjoyed that Kinsella explored how Audrey's illness was really taken on by the whole family. It's a serious top but this charming and funny book shows sometimes a light hand can go a long way to giving a story serious impact.

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